I'm starting to see game consoles, e-readers, and even franchises like Pathfinder and Warhammer 40,000 differently. They all have built-in stores, in a sense, but they also want to be your whole lifestyle, or even your religion.
Like, in the world of tabletop games you buy the relatively cheap starter box, and pretty soon you're hanging out with others who play this, and reading about it online, and being exposed to a ton of advertising that says you need to buy more of this stuff.
I don't think that this is inherently terrible, but I agree with Alien Rope Burn that games like Pathfinder are kind of uncanny. ^^; Because they give it away, and it's terribly complicated and inhumane, but they market it so hard and they have people who pay lots of money for this free stuff out of loyalty.
And I'm thinking about all this partly because I'm selling the BattleTech starter box on eBay, after agonizing over it a lot more than you'd think someone would over a board game ... because it's not just a board game. It's this whole lifestyle that I really used to be into. Especially if you've seen how I used to talk about it. >//> Seriously, I printed and cut out a ton of BattleTech stuff, and promoted it to other people, and wrote house rules on their forums to simplify their RPG.
(It desperately needed it.)
I paid more than the cost of that boxed set for ebooks. You have no idea how many BattleTech ebooks there are. Or how many you need just to play the game.
The other reason I'm talking about this is because a few days ago, I dropped out of the Pathfinder game I was in. I only got into it in the first place because I thought the people in Slacktivist's Discord were really cool and I wanted to be around them ... that, and I had lots of time to work on a character because I was super-anxious about the upcoming move and I couldn't think about anything else.
I dropped out because I realized I just can't play that game. And I tried to express how ... besides being sexist and racist, how inhumane it is. How it asks so much of its players. Especially disabled ones. And the people there were just like "I've never seen what you're talking about ^^ "
Later I tried to discuss how Pathfinder (and sci-fi and fantasy in general) really use the word "race" way too much, and in really problematic ways. Like, when anyone not immersed in that subculture would use "people," "species," or "society." And the chat just Would Not Stand For This, and one irate player told me that I'm a moron.
I want to say that I know what that's like. That I've been that devoted to games. But I'm not sure that I can remember that. Not when I have long discussions on-stream about how something in Fate/EXTELLA, my favourite game ever, is lazy and needlessly dubcon. Not when I was also on the BattleTech forums telling the lead developers that their "beta" Mercenaries book is hella racist and sexist.
(They did change some of it.)
When I was seven years old, I "bore my testimony" to a chapel full of Mormons that I was going to go to the Red Sea someday, and see if there were really dead soldiers and chariots beneath its surface.
That's just how I've always been.
It hurts every time I have to part with something I love, whether it's a game or a community or a way of life. It especially hurts when I realize they don't love me back.